The Joy of Ministry

by Dr. Bryan Cutshall

Nehemiah 8:10 Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

What is joy?  There is “emotional joy.” The dictionary defines it as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying

Then there is the Biblical definition of “spiritual joy.”

A.  Chara Joy – Grace Recognized.

1.  Chara, derived from the word charis, which is the Greek word for ‘grace.’ This is significant to note, for chara is produced by the charis of God. This means ‘joy’ is not a human-based happiness that comes and goes but, rather, true ‘joy’ is divine in its origin. It is a Spirit-given expression that flourishes best in hard times.

It is spiritual strength that comes from the awareness (of God’s) grace and favor.   Literally – grace recognized!

Most people start out with JOY in ministry, but not all finish with joy.

Hebrews 12:2

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


A. You can start out your ministry with joy, but loose your joy if you get your eyes on the wrong things.

B.  Jesus finished with joy.

C.  We will only finish with joy if we keep our eyes on Jesus.

D.  If you get your eyes on the wrong things, it will steal your joy.

In order to maintain your joy in ministry you must stay in the presence of God.

Psalms 16:11

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.


Things that will steal your joy in ministry.

1.  Meetings, problem solving will wear you out

2.  You’ll learn that even some Christians are hard to love and get along with.

3.  There are always goats among the sheep. And even a few wolves in sheep’s clothing.

But RETREAT to His presence. Soak in His presence. There you will find fullness of joy.

  Acts 13:52

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.


In ministry you will go through seasons of endurance and testing where you can’t find your joy- it’s only temporary.


Psalms 30:5

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.


There are days you may loose your joy, but it’s only temporary. In those season – you can prophesy your way out.

      Proverbs 15:23

      A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!


Nothing brings joy like a baby.  Most people I know that loose their joy have stooped winning souls.


1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.


If you want to finish with joy- keep your eyes on the prize, not the price.


Acts 20:24

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.


Matthew 25:21

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. ’

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